Did you know that cats can get acne? This condition is caused by the same factors causing acne in humans, pores clogged by oil. Cat acne is most commonly seen under the chin and around your cat’s lips. You may also see black areas that look like dirt or grease on your cat’s fur, under or on the chin. Feline acne can be treated at home, although severe cases may need the care of a veterinarian Here’s how to treat cat acne:
- Rinse the area. Use a clean wash cloth and warm water to gently wash your cat’s chin and the affected area once per day. Having someone else hold the cat while you wash its face can make everything go much smoother. Cleaning the cat’s face after each meal can dramatically reduce feline acne. The water may or may not remove any black areas on the face or chin of your cat.
- Use antibacterial soap. If plain water doesn’t seem to be helping, use a mild antibacterial soap, either one formulated for humans or one meant specifically for cats. Make sure that you rinse the soapy area thoroughly so that your cat won’t ingest any of the soap. Another home remedy is one tablespoon of Epson Salts in two cups of warm water. Soak a wash cloth in this mixture and hold it against your cat’s chin for five minutes. Then, rinse the area. You may also want to use human acne pads, but consult your vet to find out about safe ingredients before you choose this route.
- Wash your cat’s belongings. If possible, wash your cat’s food and water dishes every day. You may also want to switch from plastic bowls to glass, ceramic, or metal dishes, which are less likely to provide a breeding ground for the bacteria that causes acne. Wash any toys or other belongings that come in frequent contact with your cat’s face.
- Visit the veterinarian. Within a week or two of home treatment, your cat’s acne should start to improve visibly. If it does not, visit the vet. Your vet can recommend additional treatment options, like benzyl peroxide gel, and antibiotics to prevent infection. Cat acne may seem relatively trivial, but if left untreated, it can actually become quite serious. Your cat may even develop pimples. Untreated feline acne may become Folliculitis, or inflammation on the cat’s skin occurring in the hair follicles. This condition requires veterinary treatment rather than home remedies.
Feline acne is most often noticed in white or pale-colored cats, and can show up as a variety of types, including blackheads, greasy fur, or other discolorations or blemishes. It is particularly common in Persian cats, though it can happen in all cat breeds, and in cats of all ages.